Thursday, April 18, 2024

Capacitive Touchscreen Controller Family for the Home Appliance Safety

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Eliminates the need for a separate emergency stop or unlock buttons on touch enabled appliances

To reduce the risk of fires in the kitchen and also floods in the laundry room, international safety specifications require safety mechanisms in home appliances, such as ovens, cooktops, washing machines and clothes dryers. Helping designers meet these functional safety requirements, especially in touch screen enabled appliances is the MXT336UD-MAUHA1 capacitive touchscreen controller family comprising of the MXT112UD-MAUHA1, the MXT228UD-MAUHA1 and the MXT336UD-MAUHA1, each fulfilling different screen size needs, ranging from 2 to 8-inches.

As the number of touch-enabled home appliances continues to increase, the MXT336UD-MAUHA1 family shifts the required safety functionality to a simplified single touchscreen interface, helping OEMs reduce costs and improve time to market.

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These class B certified touch controllers offer unique safety-related features that enable system shut off through an intuitive soft button on a touchscreen, removing the requirement for an external safety certified stop or cancel button and associated microcontroller (MCU). They also allow an appliance to detect a touchscreen or appliance failure and shut down automatically through a variety of self-testing capabilities. For example, if the glass breaks on a cooktop, the touchscreen will turn dark and shut off the machine, eliminating any accidental damage.

“Integrating Class B certification into our touch controllers eases the design and qualification process for touch-enabled appliances, ultimately putting safety first, while reducing costs and enabling modern user interface solutions,” said Fanie Duvenhage, vice president of Microchip’s human-machine interface business unit.

Additionally, this family leverages a high signal to noise ratio (SNR) design and proprietary differential mutual acquisition scheme, which enables reliable detection and multiple finger tracking on surfaces exposed to moisture, water, grease and more — even if the user is wearing gloves.

The MXT336UD-MAUHA1 family is available from Microchip Technology. Software and hardware tools are also available. Software tools include maXTouch Studio and maXTouch Analyzer. Hardware tools include an evaluation kit.


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